Episode 79

March 31, 2024


How To Deal With Pain | Ajahn Brahm

How To Deal With Pain | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
How To Deal With Pain | Ajahn Brahm

Mar 31 2024 | 00:58:03


Show Notes

Ajahn Brahm gives a talk on how to deal with physical pain.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 9th July 2004. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

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Episode Transcript

How To Deal With Pain by Ajahn Brahm [NOTE: AI generated transcription – expect errors. ] Okay, again, it's a new request for tonight's double talk. Uh, it's a request from someone I went to visit last week who just had an operation and was asking me to talk about how to deal with pain. So there's nice talk. It's a Buddhist attitude and responses and ways of dealing with physical pain. Because this is part of the reason why people come to places like this coming to solve the problems of life. And one of the major problems which we all have to face from time to time is dealing with pain, physical pain. And of course, the first, uh, piece of advice I give if you have physical pain, the first Buddhist strategy is to go and take a paracetamol. And. This is always, if you have one, because Buddhism is very, very practical. But sometimes they don't have those things like sometimes, you know, like you know why there is actually there's no, um, aspirin in the forest. Why you never find aspirin in the jungles. In the forests? Because paracetamol parrots eat them all. That's a joke. And that's the first experience of pain you're going to have the same. Pirates eating more paracetamol so quickly. Okay, I'll carry on. But there is some times when, no matter what drugs you take, sometimes that pain is always going to be there. We always have to experience pain from time to time. And one of the great things about a religion like Buddhism, because it's a religion based on meditation, based on understanding the psychology of the mind, understanding how we work. There's lots of wonderful strategies for actually dealing with the pain, which we have to feel in daily life, and sometimes the great pains we experience from time to time in hospitals when we're having operations procedures, which, despite all the palliative care that sometimes we have to face. And so, because each one of you, if you haven't faced it already, one day you're going to face that pain. It's a good thing to learn right now how to deal with the pains of life. Now, the Buddha was obviously understood a lot. Well, great deal, huge amount about how this body and mind works. One of the things which he used to teach you is that when we talk about pain, there's two parts to pain. Can you call that? Like the two dots? There's a physical dot and there is the mental dot. The pain in the body and the pain in the mind. And he said that you can't separate those two. Well, you have a body. You can have to experience a physical pain from time to time, but at least you can take out the mental, the mental part of the pain. And this is a fascinating and very powerful technique for dealing with the pain which we experience from time to time. There is the physical part. But there's also the mental part. And if you know the difference between the two, then is something wonderful you can be able to do. You can take away the mental part of the pain. And if you start to do this, the physical part is very, very different. Many of you have heard me tell this story before about the time I had his terrible taste take in Thailand. From past couple of years. There wasn't even I know there was. There was in a forest. And so there wasn't any aspirin because of paracetamol, but there was wasn't even any paracetamol either. There was nothing in the medicine cabinet. And there was no dentist, no doctors for miles. And so you were stuck with this terrible toothache at night, a long way from anywhere, and you had to somehow try and deal with that pain. I have got a strong mind, but that pain. Sometimes you come across these pads which are much stronger than you. Who's in no way that I could even meditate. I couldn't watch my breath. Every time I tried to watch my breath. I could maybe watch it for 1 or 2 breaths, and then the pain would kick in the doors of my mind. This is what it was like. You could not stop it coming in. This is my whole side of my jaw is exploding in pain is the worst toothache I've ever had in my whole life. There's no way you could sleep or meditate, so I didn't know what to do late at night. It always happens in the later night when his pains get really bad. I decided to try some walking meditation because I couldn't sit still walking meditation. Many of you may have seen if you go on a retreat, you walk backwards and forwards, mindful of the legs moving left foot by foot in the present moment, silent. But I had to stop the walking meditation because you heard the story. Before I was running meditation, I couldn't do anything slowly, which is one of the symptoms. When you have pain, you're desperate. You have to do things fast. So I stopped the running meditation. I went back into my heart. It was very late at night. I didn't know what to do next. I decided that this is really my first year as a monk. I decided to try and do some Buddhist chanting. You know, this great police charge to which we can do some of the sutures of the Buddha, which is both have magical properties, which is supposed to be able to make you wealthy, get rid of diseases, give you a long life, like you're telling someone about our cat in a monastery. Our cat is 17 years old. This is a cat years. I think in human years, that's about 120. That's a very, very old can. People want to know how come that cat has lived for so long? Because every day of his life is listen to Buddhist monks chanting. So of course it is a long time, but so you can expect cats and other animals in monasteries to live a long time. And there's the proof. But anyway, back to what I was saying before about toothaches. I admit, I was not very convinced at that time that this kind of business worked because I was a scientist before there was this mumbo jumbo magic and sort of only sort of people with low intellects would believe in that charging business. So I did the chanting. Anything, anything. Anything just to get rid of this pain. And I had to stop the chanting after five minutes. You know why? Because I was shouting at the top of my voice. When you have great pain, you are desperate and you can't do anything. Slowly you have to actually shout it. And I was afraid not just wake up the monks and the monastery. But I would wake up the village two kilometers away. I was shouting so loud. Now this was the first. One of the first times. It's a wonderful experience. When your back is against the wall, as I say, my teacher Jan Cha said it very beautifully. He said, you can't go forward, you can't go backwards and you can't stand still. Sometimes we in those situations you can't stand. You go forward, you can't go backwards, but you can't stand still either. You completely shot you desperate. You can't stand another moment of the pain, but then you can't get rid of it. And because I'd come to talks like this before, because I listened to some teachings, I remembered two little words. Powerful words. You've all heard them yourself. Very short words that dwell. Now you. How many times have you heard those words? Those of you who come here. How many times you've actually done that? Really? Let go! I remember those words. I had no choice, I had to. Otherwise it was just too painful. So one of the first times in my monastic life when I let go. Really let go. What happened next? Really surprised me. And it showed me what pain truly is and what the mental part and the physical part is. Because as soon as I let go, I'd actually taken out the mental part of the pain. I let it be. I didn't fight it anymore. I allowed it just to exist. And as soon as I let it be, the strange thing happened. The pain disappeared and it vanished in a second. I was replaced by this wonderful feeling of bliss. And of course, is a strange, strange experience. But it's a true one. And not knowing what to do next, I decided just to cross my legs and meditate and had a wonderful meditation for an hour or two. Just no meditating in peace, no pain at all. And it was later than I had to get up at 3:00 in the morning. So I decided to lay down and have a sleep for about an hour or more for the bell at 3:00. I woke up before the bell. There was a slight ache in my mouth, but hardly anything at all. Later on, he managed to actually to go to a dentist and get the cavity filled. But the point was, there was immense pain. And just for doing a little two words let go. The pain vanished. He really showed me just how much of pain is the mental part, and the physical part is only a small part of the pain. Now it gives you the indication of the Buddhist attitudes to pain. If we really try to let go, if we do it properly, there's no problem anymore. The problem is the fighting. The problem is paying. Get out of here. You don't belong. I don't want you. And this is one of the reasons why, when I've mentioned this before, people have tried that. They've had pain. They try the letting go and they come to complain afterwards. They assign blame. It didn't work. And I asked them why they would. I knew what they were doing. They had a pain and they said, come on, let go, let go, let go. You haven't gone yet. Now, of course, that's not letting go. That's trying to push it away. You're doing letting go to try and get rid of the pain. And that's not letting go. That's doing a business deal. The letting go has to be pure letting go as if you're saying to that pain, you can be with me for the rest of your life. You don't have to go anywhere. I can be with you. Pain. I can be your friend, no longer your enemy. That takes a lot of guts to do. It takes a lot of courage. But if you can do that, you'll find the pain completely transforms the power of the pain, which is the problem is. Get out of here. You don't belong. I don't want you. I want to be somewhere where you're not. I'm trying to get rid of you. I don't like you. Get out! You see the mental struggle against the pain, the struggle to try and get rid of it. In Buddhism, we call that craving ill will. You want it to be different rather than actually facing it. Being with it, even being compassionate. Having gentleness towards the pains in our body rather than having this fear, this controlling. That takes a lot of guts. It also takes a lot of training. You find actually that when you practice these sorts of skills you learn in your meditation, you find it's easy to do the easier to bear with things rather than always fighting them. It's a part of our training as marks in Thailand that our teacher actually in China is very tough on us. There is a word in Thai which he would use very, very often. There are some Thai speakers here. It was called Tora man. It's the same word they use for torture. He said he would torture us. Anyway, we should have really complained to Amnesty International and got that man arrested. But it was all out of compassion. For example, to teach us about not complaining about temperatures. I see a lot of people here. You've got blankets on, so you're cold sometimes, you know, when it's too hot, you put the aircon on, you wimps. Now, this is actually how my teacher taught us. We'd have one meal a day in this monastery, usually about 9:00. We finished about ten, 1030 in the hot season in Thailand, and it gets up to about 40 degrees. But this is in the humid heat. Not that the dry heat here. And anyway, after the meal, everyone would have to go into what was used to call the old sala, this very, very small building where we'd all be sitting, maybe with 30 monks. 40 monks all close together. He closed the doors, close the windows, had a low metal seat roof, and you had to sit there. We have these robes. This. Well, here we have a spare robe. You had to put the spare robe on as well. You could take blankets if you wanted. And you sat there for two hours in the hot heat. You call that torture? Well, it wasn't really torturing the body. It was teaching the mind. Because the only way you could deal with it if you stop complaining. Now when you start to complain. That is where the pain starts to come. It shouldn't be this way. Why is he doing this? We should actually complain to the well that like a war crimes tribunal, there should be a monk crimes tribunal as well or something. We should complain. He's got no right to do this. As soon as you started complaining, that's when it started to hurt. As soon as you let go. Then it was very, very peaceful. It was always that negative part of the mind that there was a whole purpose. While our teacher was trying to do this, to point out that you're going to have to be here, who got two ways of dealing with this? You can complain. And you can actually hurt yourself. You can get pain, pain, pain, or you can let go and learn to be at peace and realize this discomfort of the body is just that. It's just a feeling which comes and goes, which is not really important. It's not life threatening. In fact, sometimes people actually paid money for that. It's called soreness. We got it for free. Okay. So I said, this is where you learned is the mental part is the one where you can really work and that mental part of that pain. When we start complaining, the pain gets worse. Even when I was, you know, when I was at, uh, college, we did a little bit of rowing. I remember once the coach sort of screaming out to me because it was a long row and I was getting very tired, and he said, you're making a face. He said, smile. And then the oars would become easier to pull. And they'll call this the word when you start complaining and even with your face and you relax your facial muscles, it became easier. And that was reinforced once when I was the first year in Thailand, where I learned much of these teachings, just by the encouragement of your teachers and just by the experiences of daily life. We used to go from monastery to monastery for ceremonies or for this or that. I would always curse young monks in the back of a pickup truck in the back of a ute. But those years where we used to sit the senior monks, I'd sit in the front cab. They were okay. But as Paul months in the back, we had to sit in the back and on the back of those utes, the the, uh, pickup trucks, there always was a metal frame over which was stretched a canvas. It was supposed to protect you from the rain and from the dust. The trouble is that it's probably to save costs. That frame was very low. Maybe because the tyres at that time were very short. But of course, as a Westerner, I was quite big. But in comparison. And those roads were all dirt roads with many potholes. So when that truck went over one of the potholes, the truck went down and I went up. Yeah, many, many times you crack your head on those metal rails. It's all right for you because each one of you has got padding. We didn't have any hard padding, bald heads. And so you crack and you crack your head very hard on these metal railings as you went over these potholes. Being a Westerner. Part of my culture was if you hit your head, what do you do? Swear. So that was what I was doing. But every now and again he went on a big pothole and even the tires, they would also hit their head and go crack. They didn't swear. They just laughed. I couldn't figure it out. How can you laugh when you hit your head that bad? I started thinking about it, and I came to the conclusion at first that maybe those tire marks had hit their head so many times. So you know something's wrong with their brains. That's why they were laughing. It was stupid. Brain damaged. But I think that some of these were young monks. They couldn't have had that many hits on their head to be brain damaged. So I decided because I was a scientist before, because Buddhism is all about reason, like cause and effect, trial and sort of investigation. So I decided to do it in an experiment. I resolved in the back of that that car. The next time I hit my head, instead of swearing, I'm going to laugh at the time monks laugh. That's what I decided to do. So I did it. The next time you went over a pothole, you hit your head. And I stopped myself swearing and I laughed instead. You know what I discovered? I discovered an amazing truth. If you hit your head and you laugh, it hurts much less. It's true. If you don't believe me, ask the person sitting next to you to hit you over the head. I guarantee you will hurt less. Now, can you understand about what I was saying about the mental part of the pain and the physical part? If we swear. What pain is this for? Fighting. I don't want to slap. I mean, this shouldn't happen. Then you actually really add a lot of the hurt to your pain. If you can let it go. To laugh at it. Be at peace with it. Accept it as part of life. You'll find it hurts much, much less. So at other times, if you are hurting in pain, sometimes just even a little smile is enough as you to lessen the pain. Even doctors know what is it when you smile? When you laugh, endorphins are released into your blood system. These are nature's painkillers. They help your immune system. Actually, you don't get infected. You don't hurt so much. Very simple teaching. Even the doctors know the mental part is paramount is important. So here we start to train ourselves. And one of the reasons why our teacher and I had a sitting so long without being able to move, where he would actually put us in that sort of hot room for two hours in the hot season after the lunch. Why do we do that? To teach this? To let go of the mental part. The physical part you couldn't do much about, but at least you could stop complaining. And all the times that where we do experience, like the physical pain, what is actually happening, why does it come sometimes so great? Sometimes we can't stand it. I've often looked at that and. I've asked myself. What do you mean you can't stand it? You are standing at the pain is here. What's the problem? And you've found out that a lot of the problem with pain. Why people can't take it any longer is because they project into the future is the important thing. I can't take that pain any longer any more. It is the fear of the future. Pain makes it unbearable. And I see this is the other strategy, which is Buddhists, especially meditators, who can learn how to let go of the future and stay in the present moment. They can let go of the fear which is associated with the pain, and it's the fear which is the other part. It's part of the mental part is the fear, which is one of the almost like the killers. What makes pain unbearable when we think we can't stand it any longer? We're just going off into the future and thinking this pain, if it carries on like this. I can't stand it. Point is with the future. One thing we always know is the future will always change. It never stays the same. That's why when my to Atlanta, I would go and visit his disciples in hospital when a very, very sick like I was sick after one year, scrub typhus in his hospital, very sick and getting terrible in pain. He would come in and just say that pain would not last. Use a ladder, get better or you'll die. But it won't last. The. So if you have a great pain in the hospital and go visit some of your loved ones in hospital and they're very, very sick, you can always tell them that if they. I'd probably kick you out. But it's true, isn't it? Can you blame? Can you find fault with that, no matter how painful it is, so they can get better? Or are you gonna die for you so you can see it? See what might happen next. Now that is the problem. Why is it that with pain we get all this fear involved? As, for example, I remember just being in the hospital once in here in Australia. And you know what happens in. Well, it maybe doesn't happen to you, but happened to me. I was in this room with three other men in this house. It was a great fun being a monkey in hospital. Because, number one, as soon as I was admitted, they asked, where's your pyjamas? And I said my son had pajamas. And he said, oh, really? What are we going to do? And I say, I can wear these robes or nothing. Take your choice. So I said, we'll have you in the robes. So, so while my wife was in hospital and when I started getting better, I remember going to the toilet, walking to the toilet, and I walked past the women's ward and one of the women said she got really scared. She thought of some of her friends coming to spook her. I said I was very fortunate that she wasn't in there for her to complain, otherwise I might have killed her. But anyway, sort of was like, oh yeah, it is this hospital ward with three other men. You know, it's just spending all day together. Started talking about this, talking about that, and the conversation we go into. It's a really stupid. We started getting what's the worst known medical procedure you've ever had? And somebody said, oh, you know, we had this injection. Someone had said that one of the people sort of said, oh, I've been in hospitals so many times. You know, you have all these people who've been in there much longer than you ever had. And they said, ah, the worst is a barium enema. That's really terrible. They said. And this poor fellow in the corner bed, he went. Why? He said, that's what I'm having this afternoon. Felicity. Why? I'm sweating that morning. So talk to you about these terrible things. But that would have been painful for him once we sort of started him up that way. It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt, though. Of course it does hurt. How much of pain is anticipation? Fear is gonna hurt. I know it's gonna hurt. I know it's gonna hurt, and it does hurt. That's why that monastery in Thailand the first year, if you'd have visited, you'd have been very surprised when you went into our library. We only had a few books in the library. One of the books we had in our library was a book about how women can give birth to babies. It's okay. I must have started doing so in a in a in a Buddhist monastery in the northeast Thailand for the men. And the reason I was there, because I had a very interesting chapter about this community in somewhere in I think, Tennessee, I think it was it was like a hippie community. But they, you know, they were had their act together. And one of the things I learned how to do is learn how to, in their community, try to encourage ladies to give birth in a very unique way. They started changing the vocabulary. When a woman got pregnant, they would say, you're not going to have labor pains. You can have labor energies. Now it's taking away. It's taking the word pain away and call it energy. It's it's amazing what happens because I had nine months to convince or brainwash these girls. It wasn't labor pains, it was labor energies. And also that during the, um, time of labor, the birth, they had all of the midwives around. And whenever there was like one of these big contractions for the body, they were cheering like on a footy pitch and always giving the same advice. Go with it, slow with it. Now let go. Be one with it. Go with it. And all these ladies, they wrote these stories about their births. Amazing birth stories. I think it was called. And it was incredible just how many of these ladies one had very, very short term pairs of labour. Incredibly short. And how it was not painful at all. Though it saw themselves up to quite it. Labour energies is huge forces going through their body. They were being supported all the time. Instead of people saying oh, you poor thing, do you want an injection? Is that hurting? Is that hurting? And because of that support of like letting go flowing with change of vocabulary and they've never experienced any pain. That's what they wrote, which is labour. Energy is flowing through their body. And they never resisted at all. They went with every one. Fascinating how the mental part of the pain was taken out, and they had the physical part, which was just feeling forces, energies just passing through their bodies. Now half of you at least are not going to have babies, and many of you are too old already. We always get old people coming to religious places. So yeah, but it is true. Nevertheless, you're going to have all sorts of pains happening to some time in your life and the pains of old age, the pains of sickness, the pains of all sorts of things. And it just gives you some understanding of what you can do. Now with his body, with his physical pain, instead of fighting it and saying, get out of here, you don't belong. Those pains which you can't beat. And there are many of those we learned to live with. We accept, with compassion, with kindness, with gentleness, with peace, with letting go. All these beautiful words which are all pointing to the same thing. It is being at peace with things. The mental part of the pain we take away. And instead we give peace, acceptance. Stillness. And you will find that if you really do it 100%, the mental part of the pain disappears and all you got left is the physical part. It's part of having a body and it becomes easy to endure. Because the endurance part is the mental part. One thing which one can always do is a wonderful little, uh, word. Now you just let go. But to understand that the beautiful truths of impermanence. And each, uh. This two will pass. I'm surprised at all her word, which you can always say to yourself whenever you are in great pain. This too will pass. This too will pass. The original story of that which you can apply to many things. But here I'm applying it to pain. Because of this emperor who became an emperor when he was very young as a boy and as a inexperienced young man. Whenever the country was going well, when there was prosperity, when there was people were happy with the the government, the emperor would always have celebrations and parties. And because of that, he didn't do enough work to keep the prosperity going as long as it should. He was partying too much. And when things started to go badly, when there was an economic recession, when there was enemies at the gates, when the people were striking and not happy with the government, then he got so depressed. He spent most of the time in his room sulking rather than doing any work. Because of that, the bad times lasted longer than they should. So the ministers, we worked together in private, they couldn't actually tell the Emperor what to do because that was the Empress job. They were already ministers, but they thought of a scheme to try and help the young emperor, and all they did was to actually to get a jeweller to make a reign for their emperor. A very simple gold ring. The only unique feature was the words which were inscribed on the outside of the ring. And those words were this two will pass. And they told the emperor to wear that on all occasions. So during prosperity, the Emperor would wear that ring and would look upon it. This too will pass. Prosperity. Happiness. Health. Fate doesn't last. We all know that. But because we forget it, we take it for granted. Because we've taken for granted. We're heedless. We don't work hard even in the prosperous times. He had the good times. The happy times. The times you have your loved ones. There, there. We take it for granted, we think they're always going to be there. Our health. We think our health is our birthright. We're always going to be healthy. Our prosperity, our peace. We think it's always going to be that way. We take too much for granted. When we look upon that ring, this too will pass. It means we're always hateful. Making the best use of the moment. Looking after this because we know it won't last. Therefore, we work to keep it going as long as it possibly can. And because of that, the good times. Once the king or the Emperor are looking for that ring. The good times lasted longer than usual. And when the bad times came, he also looked for that ring. This too will pass. So he never got so depressed. No matter what was occurring in his kingdom, no matter how dire the situations he knew one thing the situations would always change. This too will pass so that I gave him hope. And that means that even during the rough times, he would still be able to work instead of sulking. And though bad times never lasted all that long, he became a very successful emperor and also a very successful person in pain. That's one thing you can always remember. This too will pass. The pain doesn't last all that long. The worst part of the pain is the fear. It's going to last forever. It's going to get worse. This too will pass. Should be able to stop that fear. Instead of allowing our mind to project into the future with the fault finding mind. The fault finding mind always is going to get worse. It's going to get terrible. I know it's going to get bad. It's going to be horrible. It's going to be horrible. That fault finding mind is part of most Western people's nature. Whenever we look at the past or look at the future, we always take up the bad stuff. Just even in my monastery a couple of days ago, a couple of the novices had a little argument and one of the novices was very upset and came up to me and said, oh, just, you know, this person said this. He shouldn't have done that. And like I said, what else have they done? What else have they done? Even this last week? And he couldn't think of all the good things that person has done. They could only think of the bad things. When I repeated what I said here a couple of weeks ago. To each one of you. When we have that fighting mind, we pick up all of the rotten things which someone did did, and we don't pick up the good things they've done that is the same as the person who keeps chickens. And whatever the chickens have laid overnight, they go in the morning, they only pick up the chicken shit and they don't pick up any of the eggs. Remember that one? Picking up the chicken shit and not picking up any of the eggs is looking back. What's happened over the last week? And your friend? I'm only remembering all the rotten things they've done. I don't think the good things they've done now. Fear is actually that into the future. If later you pick up all the rotten things which might happen in the future instead of the good things, that's called peer. We've got this negative always going to be terrible. Something was going to happen. And it's that fear of the future, which means that pain becomes almost intolerable. You are experiencing. You are handling it right now. It's a fear of the future. That is a problem. Now that fear of the future is just an undisciplined mind, a mind which hasn't been trained, am I? Which goes off and thinks the worst which can possibly happen, which is what fear is. We look into the future and we think, oh, some Intel was going to happen. Oh, I'm not going to be able to last. Oh, I can't stand this any longer. What would happen if. We don't know what's going to happen in the future. That's why all projection into the future is just an undisciplined mind. And if we have pain projecting into the future. With a negative mind. It's just going to make the pain absolutely intolerable. So if we do have pain, we tend to stay in the present moment. It's hard to stay in the present moment because what happens with pain, it tries to push us away somewhere else. Pain. The way we look at it with a mental. I want to try and get rid of this. I want to go somewhere where that pain isn't. The Buddhist way. He's actually going towards the paint rather than going in the opposite direction. Going into the pain, rather than trying to flee away someplace where that pain isn't. Because if we try and flee away, we usually flee away into the future of free away somewhere else. We get this more fear. We're going to the center of the pain. The center of the moment is light. And you'll experience this. If you do this, go into it rather than go away from it. It takes a lot of courage at first because it goes in the opposite direction we're used to when we go into it. It's like coming to the center of the cycler. We come to a space where the pain is like around us, but we don't feel it in the very middle. Remember teacher and child telling me this? He had suffered from malaria for about 3 or 4 years. In those days, most monks were meditating, the jungles would get malaria. And he said that no matter what medicine, nothing really worked. Whenever he's got a bit weak, the malaria will come and ravage his body. He said one day he had a bout of malaria. He decided instead of actually to try to run away from it, he was. He ran towards it. He said he went right into the center of that fever. And this is what he described it like. Like he was being in this middle of this fire, but he was in the center. It was very cool because he wasn't running away anymore. He was right in the middle of it, he said as he sat there in his mind in the middle of this great fever. The fire got hotter and hotter and hotter, and it got so hot. It just exploded. And then he was at peace and he never got malaria again. Amazing. This is quite unchartered how he overcame his malaria. Going right into the center of it. Into the middle. Now, maybe that's how we can grow a campaign as well. Go right into the center. Right into the middle of it. Because it's in the middle is where the mental part can't find us, because they were actually letting it be. We're going into it rather than allowing it to actually to push us away. That's where we find freedom from pain. See it. And some pain. Pushing and pulling us around. Making us go here. Making us go there. Here our mind is free. The body can be at pain, but the mind isn't. That was one of the beautiful teachings of the Buddha. When one of his disciples, a very old man, came to see him. And the Buddha's advice was, even though your body is sick, your mind does not need to be sick. Even though the body is hurting, the mind doesn't need to hurt. He explained how that's done by letting go of the mental part of the pain, accepting, learning to be with tolerance, being with. If you can do that to your physical pain, learn how to be with these things. Stop trying to get rid of them. Stop trying to change and start trying to make them different. So maybe you can be able to learn to live with your husband, or your wife, or that person at work you don't like. How often is it that we react to the things we don't like in life, in the same way as we react to pain? Get out of here. You shouldn't be like this. I shouldn't be hurting. And of course, we should realize by now we've lived long enough that pain is part of life. There is nothing wrong with praying. How many people here have never had a moment of pain in their life? Of course, it's a silly question. We all experience pain. Pain is part of things. In fact, if you look very deeply for what pain truly is, is only the gap between two moments of happiness. When happiness disappears, then the suffering. Suffering disappears, then this happiness, pain and pleasure. How slow they are. That's why as a human beings, you will have some pain, will have some pleasure, usually in equal proportions. As part of our birthright, we have to learn how to live with it. In fact, the more we accept the pain, the less painful it really is. And this is actually how, as Buddhists, we can actually learn to be with pain, which is why that especially in places like hospices. So the doctor is saying she was a Christian I met in Malaysia. She was actually telling me and there's a very a wonderful little, uh, accolade she gave said in her hospice. It was the Buddhists who were the easiest to deal with who died with greatest. I think she said grace simply because those Buddhist attitudes which people had learnt in the temples, which they had honed with their meditation, they could learn how to be at peace with the pain of their final days. They could learn how to let it be. When they cracked their head, they could laugh. Instead of swearing, they could learn how to accept rather than always fighting. They knew the difference between the mental part and the physical part. Look at. Even like in footy matches, people can break their legs. They don't even feel it. Why is that? Because the mental part is somewhere else. They're just enjoying the game. How much is it? The mental part in a physical part? That's why we can actually develop the strong positive mind to last the pain, to actually to be at peace with pain, to actually to let go of the fear of the future. And then you'll find his easy to be with the aches and pains of life, especially those times when you have no opportunity, no choice. You have to deal with the pain because the medicine just doesn't work. That's where you go into the present moment. So no fear can come. You can be with while and trying to get rid of. You can say this to or pass so you can bear it. It's not that bad. The mental part is well, we overcome. And it's not just that. It means the other parts of life which we're negative towards. We use pain. It's almost like a training so he can be at peace no matter what happens. It means not just learning how to deal with physical pain, but learning how to deal with disappointments, learning how to deal with things happening in our life which we don't like. The other sufferings of life which we can't do anything about. We know how to let them go. Let them be. Stop trying to get rid of them. Knowing that this too will pass. We can ensure no matter what's happening to us in life, it always be changing. We can bear with it. We can laugh no matter what happens. And that way we know how to transcend, not the physical pain of our bodies. But the pain of life which happens from time to time. Isn't it the case when something tragic happens? Fear again. How can I cope? How would I live? What will happen? What will I do? Look at us, monks. We don't even have any money. We don't know who's going to feed us tomorrow. People always do. But they didn't in the early days. In the early days when there wasn't so many people looking after us. I was talking about this to the Thais last week. Sometimes in the first year we came here, there was a roster system, just only two monks myself, and that in Jakarta there was a roster system of people who were buying food. Sometimes the food was in the fridge. Sometimes you could look at it, you could smell it, but there's no one to give it to you. So I had to stay in the fridge. We had to fast. That's what it was like in those early days. Well, it didn't matter. Can you fast? Can you go without food? How many days can you fast days thinking about everything. Oh, I can't do this. I remember just as even a student had a bet with, had a Christian friend, and I was a Buddhist, and I wasn't going to be outdone by the Christian friends. And so we were fasting and see who could actually win that fast. And I used to, when I was 40, only for three days. I used to deliberately cycle past a fish and chip shop. I'm starting to really test myself now to smell it so, you know, to actually see it. But I'll be able to eat it. It's just like it's a strength of mine, that's all. And that strength of mine isn't down yourself to be with these things instead of trying to get rid of them. Just knowing this to a party. In 2 or 3 days, you'll be able to eat. So what? Big deal. You must miss one meal. You see, you get that toughness of the mind because you know that most of the problems with athletes fasting over this physical pain is just the mental problems, that's all. So she's thinking in wrong ways. And it's that mental part of the pain which the Buddha said is the problem. That's what you can do a lot about. That's what we learn. We learn, as it says on that statue outside, to purify the mind, to train the mind, to make the mind a smart mind rather than a stupid mind. If you make the mind to be a smart mind rather than a stupid mind. Then you have the ability to endure pain, fasting, whatever it is, with ease. You're not afraid anymore. You can allow it to be. You have all these wonderful strategies, no matter what happens to it, to your illness. You can be able to bear with things. Have been physical part of life. Sometimes it will be hot, sometimes it will be cold. Sometimes it will be pleasurable, sometimes it will be painful physically. But the mind has like to compare with. A mental part of pain is taken away. There you are, a piece. Feelings. That's what it is. Feelings coming in. Feelings going out. Even the pain of sound. When people call you names. That's all it is. Sound coming in. Sound going out. This too will pass. Speak to you in mental part. They shouldn't have said this. They shouldn't have done that. The mental part is taken away. So to summarize the talk about how the Buddhists deal with pain, they deal with pain. First of all, if you've got a paracetamol, you take that. First of all, if not, there's nothing you can do. At least you can actually take away the mental part I don't want, I don't like, get out of here. You don't belong. And if you can do that, you'll find the pain is a feeling and it doesn't hurt anymore. And you can apply that to other things in life, which hurts you, doesn't hurt anymore. The mental part is taken away. That is what you can do. Physical part is up to the doctors. The mental part is up to you. So that's it for this evening on how to deal with pain in your life. Any questions about this evening's talk going in the back here? But slowly in 1955. Nancy. No one will. 8s Yeah. And it's where it's like most of these things, it's better to learn in plenty of time rather than the last minute. And I think that when you get the old people. So you're very close to the last minute. So if you can learn these techniques, you know before it's free, what you think is really necessary. Because a lot of times we always do things at the last minute. If we do it now. Now we got a strong line and we train our mind now. Then I think when we really need it at the time of death, then it's very easy. And our old age, our problem is we think we're not going to get old. How many people here are old? I used to run this youth group here. And, you know, I think it was a 13, 14, 15, 16 year olds many years ago. And so I asked them sort of, you know, what is old? And they discussed the matter and in the end they came up to anyone over 35. So that was a definition from our youth group. So we never think we're old. And that's one of our problems. So we actually don't prepare for our old days, for our sickness, even for our death. And it's most important. I mean, you you train when you're young to actually to work. You could even actually go to classes for for learning how to be married. Knows that marriage preparation classes. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have, like, classes on how to be sick and classes on how to die? Classes on how to get old. So prepare yourself before it happens to train yourself. But it's true that sometimes if a person's got Alzheimer's, they only remember what they learnt in the early years. So if you know those in your early years, then you don't have to worry about when you're old. The attitudes are what counts. Joking aside, maybe a bit of fun. But anyway, I think you can always get the tape. It's nice to keep playing it again and again and again, because they've got these series that go round and round and round and round. I think. Any other question on this evening's talk how to deal with pain? Yeah. Artificial comma are the actual sum of the pain, which you have to experience a physical pain as part of your karma of the past. How do you deal with it now is the karma of the present. So the fatal faith part is actually what you dealt with the cards, the ingredients of your life, how you put those ingredients together, how you play that deck of cards. That is a karma of now. So even if you have got pain. Yeah, maybe it's, you know, because of the past, but the way you deal with that pain, you are free to deal with that pain whichever way you wish. So the calm of the past. Yes. But how you're dealing with that is a calm with a pleasant. That's why you're never completely confined by your past karma. Because the way you deal with that is completely at your liberty. So it makes sense. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Now, I think the story was it was the end of his life. He got a sickness, but he actually suppressed that sickness for three months. For just a short while. We just had a few more things to do. When those things were done, they can't. Even the Buddha died through a sickness. But peaceful during that sickness. It's a wonderful thing to see, to see sick monks. Who's supposed to be in pain for a very peaceful. You know, you wonder what's going on. They should have a lot of pain, but they're not. Or even to say that our monks, some of the disciples from here, who shall be in great pain. Please see them. They're. They're smiling. They're happy. Even though the body must be hurting. No other people have understood the message that can be done. It is done. This is the way to go. For sometimes those the pain management, sometimes it just doesn't work. Well, sometimes you can't get a drugs for them soon enough. Sometimes I have all these amazing stories of what was that story about that person who was in a mining accident up in the North? He was the person he was, uh. He would drill the holes, set the explosives, and blast the end of the mine shaft and nighttime ready for the people to come during the day. And this was some time ago and actually pick out the Or. They only do it at nighttime. He would do the night shift by himself because it was a dangerous task. However, he was very, very skilled. But he said that one morning he had a premonition something was going to happen. He checked all his equipment. He couldn't see anything wrong. He went to the end of the shaft, started drilling the holes. When he heard the sound of one of the oil trucks coming in his direction, the people on the previous shift hadn't put on the brake properly and was welding towards him along this narrow shaft. There was no place to escape with coming directly for him. He said just before it hit, he thought the only thing to do is to jump. He couldn't go to the left or the right. The south was too narrow. He jumped. He'd hit him. He cut off both his legs and he was there with two legs missing. Sort of in pain, bleeding instead of the most painful experience of his life. If there was no pain, he said. It became so peaceful and had one of his religious experiences that when he actually, uh, in the hospital afterwards, when the fellow responsible for leaving the break off came to see him and we called him friend said, there's no problem at all, even thank you for that experience. There are times sometimes when we have the great pains. That's where we can truly let go. So I think we do that with the ordinary pains of life. Then we might actually learn a great lesson about the difference between the mind and the body. Mental pain of physical pain. Physical pain is very small. So I have some mental pain, which is a big one. Which is also known as why the I said why people commit suicide, not because of physical pain. Most people commit suicide because of mental pain. Maybe in physically good health. They just split up with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Or some small thing and that mental pain. That is the killer. And this is actually why the mental pain the Buddha said that is the biggest pain of all. Physical pain is small. If you can get the mental pain right that a physical pain is easy to bear. Okay, so we'll keep you in pain any longer. It's 9:06. So now we have our president to give our announcements to see.

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